Bringing together the criminologies of atrocity and serious economic crimes

Research output: Working paper


The paper reflects on the value of bringing together bodies of criminological research with separate trajectories in a discipline that has experienced dynamic growth, diversification and specialization and a concomitant fragmentation. One risk from fragmentation is that knowledge develops in silos without reference to other schools of thought, but a healthy discipline benefits from the tensions and complementarities when different specialisms come together. It is in that spirit that I offer this short reflection and call for further work. I explore reasons for, and merits of, joint scholarship from criminologists focused on serious economic crime and those dealing with atrocity. The paper argues that even though atrocity crime and serious economic crime do not always accompany one another, they are related conceptually and empirically; and further, that there are enough cases of simultaneous atrocity and economic criminality to justify combining expertise in order better to address the two phenomena. The paper briefly introduces the background to the two specialisms within criminology before detailing the common ground on which they can meet. Finally, I present three examples of recent scholarship at the nexus of serious economic and atrocity crimes focusing on Egypt, South Sudan and Venezuela to demonstrate the benefits of combined scholarship and paths forward for further research.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSocial Science Research Network (SSRN)
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022


  • Criminology
  • Atrocity
  • Serious Economic Crime


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